Although it is still early in the season, Maryland's 86-66 victory over Richmond tonight at the Robins Center served as a small sign of the program's resurgance.
The win was the Terrapins' third in a row, giving them a 7-2 record--one more victory than last season's 6-21 team, which lost its first nine games.
"Last year was really atypical," Terrapins Coach Chris Weller said. "I don't think we're going to be a dynamite team this year. I don't know where we're going to wind up. I feel this is the second stage coming from last year. I think next year we're going to be very strong."
A big reason for the turnaround has been the play of sophomore shooting guard Marche Strickland and senior point guard Tiffany Brown. Strickland, who is third on the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game, scored a game-high 21 points tonight--including 18 in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting.
"I guess I was feeling it," said Strickland, who matched a career high with four three-pointers--all in the first half. "They left it open, so I just took it. They were denying more on the inside."
Brown, who leads the team with 13 points per game, scored 16 tonight and added seven rebounds and six assists. The Terrapins shot a season-high 58 percent (35 of 60) and made eight three-pointers, including 7 of 11 in the first half.
Maryland held a 29-19 lead midway through the first half, then broke open the game with a 10-2 run over a four-minute stretch. Consecutive three-pointers by Brown and a transition layup by freshman guard Terri Daniels after a block by Deedee Warley gave the Terrapins a 39-21 lead with 5 minutes 7 seconds left in the half.
GEORGE WASHINGTON 83, SANTA CLARA 77: Elisa Aguilar led all scorers with 26 points as the Colonials handed Santa Clara its first loss of the season, in overtime at Smith Center. Aguilar scored five points in the extra period, including two free throws that helped seal the win. Reserve Kristeena Alexander scored 16 points and Petra Dubovcova tallied 15 for the Colonials, who have won five straight and are 7-2.